Booker Bemoans “Cannabis Crisis” of Prohibition, Outlining Marijuana Banking Difficulties in The New Congress!
Democratic New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has called the ongoing problems with marijuana banking due to prohibition a “cannabis crisis,” and while he still believes there is a chance to enact reform with Republicans in control of the House, he is highlighting the difficulties of the new political dynamic on Capitol Hill.
Even though Democrats controlled both houses of Congress during the last session, advocates and stakeholders are nevertheless disappointed that a marijuana banking bill and other moderate measures were not passed. Now, though, all focus is on the 118th Congress and what it can do.
Booker said to NJ.com, “the dynamics have moved quite substantially” with the House switch, but he still plans to “attempt to take it as far as we can go.” “Definitely it’s going to be difficult, but not impossible,” he said of accomplishing reform.
A chance exists, I believe. “Remember, there’s always been a good bipartisan coalition of folks who want to do something,” the senator said. There is still a need for a business and restorative justice collaboration, as the “urgent” that prompted them is still there.
Senator Booker has come under fire from various interest groups for the way his position on banking legislation has shifted, with Booker initially vowing to block any efforts to advance a standalone Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act without equity components and then expressing interest in compromising to get something done.
Despite the loss of Democratic control of the House, he is still dedicated to ensuring that equity is a central focus of the legislation he will be working on this session.
In an earlier interview after the election last year, the senator predicted that it could take “many years from now” to approve cannabis legislation if Democrats failed to do so during the lame-duck session.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who spearheaded discussions for the so-called SAFE Plus package, has blamed Republicans for blocking his attempts to attach the idea to crucial legislation during the last session.
Republican North Carolina representative Patrick McHenry, who heads the House Financial Services Committee, indicated last month that he still opposed the banking legislation but wouldn’t block it.
Last week, reporters asked the White House about Vice President Joe Biden’s position on marijuana banking reform, and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the topic is currently before Congress and that there are no plans for administrative action to resolve the matter at this time.
Biden hasn’t articulated a firm policy stance on banking for marijuana, but he has argued that individual states should have the freedom to determine their own cannabis regulations. As a result of the president’s blanket pardon for marijuana possession in October, his administration has grown more outspoken on the topic.